Had cadmium ever glowed so red?

I’d pretty much perfected the art. I’d go down to the newest library I could find. Become a member as quickly as I could, and armed with my new membership card head straight to section 770, the magical number for photography at UK public libraries. I would take out the full complement of 8 books that I was allowed at any one time. When the lending period was over, they would be replaced by another eight.
I devoured the books, which were mostly monographs, or ones on technique, composition or even special effects. I knew too little about photography, to know how limited my knowledge was. It was many years later, when my partner Rahnuma, gave me a copy of “The Seventh Man” by John Berger, that a new way of looking at photographs opened up. Unknowingly, it was the book “Ways of Seeing” that later opened another window. One that helped me see the world of storytelling. That was when I realised that image making was only a part of the process. Once youtube arrived on the scene, and the television series with the same name entered our consciousness in such a powerful way, his TV series “Ways of Seeing” became my new staple diet. Here was a leftie who could still speak in a language the average person could understand, and that too on a topic such as art. His fascination was neither about the artist nor the artwork itself, but how we responded to it and how it gained new meaning through our interaction. While it was art he was dissecting, it was popular culture he was framing it within.
That there was so much to read in a photograph, beyond the technicalities of shutter speed, aperture and resolution, is something my years of reading section 770 had never revealed. The photographs of Jean Mohr (The Seventh Man), were unlikely to win awards in contests, or fetch high prices in auctions, but Berger’s insights into the situations and the relationships that the photographs embodied, gave them a value way beyond the mechanics of image formation. Berger never undermined the technical or aesthetic merits of a photograph. He simply found far more interesting things to unearth.

John Berger signing book for Pathshala with Shahidul Alam, at South Bank in London. Photo by Paul Bryers

Continue reading “Had cadmium ever glowed so red?”

Life Without Sex

By?SOPHIE FONTANEL New York Times?

Published: July 20, 2013

PARIS ? FOR a period of my life, from my 27th to my 39th years, I slept alone: I had no sex. I wasn?t unhappy. Or frustrated. In fact, I found no sex preferable to disappointing sex.

Just before giving up, I had a boyfriend. He often said that we were happy sexually, but frankly he was blind to my unhappiness. So that winter, I went skiing without him.

Alone in all that sun and snow, absorbing energy from the sky and mountains, I let my body breathe quietly. The freedom and whiteness of the snow and mountains produced a kind of ecstasy. And the special pleasure I found skiing in this paradise made me think about the possibilities of my body, my sensuality. And I asked myself, ?Sophie, is your sexual life so very stimulating, actually?? And my answer was, ?No.? I realized that even when I took pleasure, I was not ecstatic with my sexual life. In fact, I seemed to be going through the motions of lovemaking because, I thought, that?s what everybody did. I decided to take a break, to recover a true desire. Continue reading “Life Without Sex”

Travel Writing Scholarship to Beijing

Hello,
I would like to let you know about an exciting scholarship opportunity for your students.
WorldNomads.com in conjunction with Rough Guides is offering the chance to be mentored by Rough Guides travel writer Martin Zatko. The scholarship recipient will work with Martin in Beijing and also have the chance to write for Rough Guides (including a review of the Forbidden City!). The resulting work will be considered for publication in the next edition of The Rough Guide to China.
The winner of the scholarship will also join international travel journalist and Beijing local, Kit Gillet, for a three-day adventure into his backyard to explore the hutong alleyways, the burgeoning Chinese art scene and even spend a night camping on the Great Wall!
For the last leg of the scholarship, they will discover the rich food culture of Beijing with three culinary experiences (think tea tasting and dumpling making classes) from Hias Gourmet.
Applicants for the scholarship must submit a personal travel essay based on one of the following themes: ?Understanding a Culture through Food?, ?Catching a Moment?, ?Sharing Stories – A Glimpse into Another’s Life?, or ?A Local Encounter that Changed my Perspective?. They will also be asked to provide a statement on why they should be awarded the 2013 Travel Writing Scholarship.
All interested students should visit the World Nomads Scholarship page for more information.
The deadline for entrants is April 19, 2013. We would appreciate you forwarding this information on to your students and lecturers, and uploading the information to the appropriate section of your website as this opportunity is open to all students.
You may also download a poster to put up around your school;
A4 size
A3 size
US letter size?
Please let me know if you would like more information regarding this exciting travel writing scholarship!
Kind Regards,
Alicia Smith
PROGRAMS MARKETING MANAGER

River Bloom

By Ranjit Hoskote.

Art in America Column: Atlas Bombay (extract)

If you think of South Asian art today, you likely focus on the subcontinent?s metropolitan centers; on the gallery scenes in Bombay, New Delhi and Bangalore in India, and on artists? circles in Karachi and Lahore in Pakistan. Not surprisingly, it?s the artists who work in these populous, kaleidoscopic hubs of activity, transiting between there and West Europe and North America, who are most often selected by curators to embody the specificity of their place and time.
But where, I suspect, many curators are not yet looking is several thousand miles away from South Asia?s metropolitan centers, in the northeast of India and in Bangladesh, at the geographical edge where the South Asian subcontinent shades away into the Himalayan foothills of Tibet to the north and the tropical lushness of Burma and Thailand to the south. Continue reading “River Bloom”

CALLING ARTISTS TO SPEND TWO MONTHS IN BRAZIL

The UNESCO/Aschberg Bursaries for Artists Programme and the Instituto Sacatar in Itaparica, Brazil, are pleased to announce the upcoming selection process for the UNESCO/Aschberg bursaries to Sacatar.
THE APPLICATION DEADLINE IS 15 OCTOBER 2012.
Three bursaries will be awarded for an eight-week artist residency at Sacatar?s beachside estate on the island of Itaparica in Brazil. The bursary includes:

  • Airfare from the artist?s closest international airport to Salvador, Bahia, Brazil (arranged and provided by UNESCO/Aschberg)
  • A personal studio appropriate to the artist?s discipline
  • A private room with attached bath
  • Meal service
  • Logistical support for the duration of the artist?s stay

During the residency, the artist is free to use the time and space as he or she sees fit, but we encourage artists to take full advantage of our beachside location on the island of Itaparica, across the bay from Salvador, Brazil, in the heart of the Brazilian state of Bahia, with its strong local culture deeply rooted in traditions out of Africa.
Applicants to the UNESCO/Aschberg bursaries must be
between the ages of 25 and 35 at the time of application;
born and living in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Russia and/or the former socialist republics, Australia, New Zealand and/or the Pacific Islands (that is, from anywhere in the world except from the Americas or Western Europe).
Artists may submit applications in the following disciplines:

  • Visual Arts (including performance, photography, handicrafts, architecture, etc.)
  • Music Composition
  • Creative Writing (in any language)

Full details can be found under APPLICATION at?www.sacatar.org.
The three UNESCO/Aschberg bursaries will be awarded for the following eight-week residency session:
6 MAY ? 1 JULY 2013

Applications must be sent electronically to?[email protected]. There is no application fee for the UNESCO/Aschberg Bursaries for Artists Programme.
Click on the APPLICATION page at?www.sacatar.org?for full details about how to apply for one of the UNESCO/Aschberg bursaries to Sacatar and to DOWNLOAD the UNESCO/Aschberg Application Form.
REMEMBER: THE APPLICATION DEADLINE IS 15 OCTOBER 2012.
http://vansa.co.za/opportunities/residencies/calling-artists-to-spend-two-months-in-brazil

Battuta Was Here

Tughlaqabad Fort is a ruined fort in Delhi, stretching across 6.5 km, built by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, the founder of Tughlaq dynasty, of the Delhi Sultanate of India in 1321, which was later abandoned in 1327. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World
Tughlaqabad Fort is a ruined fort in Delhi, stretching across 6.5 km, built by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, the founder of Tughlaq dynasty, of the Delhi Sultanate of India in 1321, which was later abandoned in 1327. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Shams al-Din Abu Abdallah Muhammad ibn Abdallah ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Yusuf al-Lawati al-Tanji Ibn Battuta was more commonly known as Ibne Battuta. Born into a family of Islamic judges in the Moroccan town of Tangier, he developed a thirst for travel after going to Makkah on pilgrimage in 1325 at the age of 21. He travelled extensively, going to Anatolia, East Africa, Central Asia, China, up the Volga, down the Niger, even in the tiny Indian Ocean sultanate of the Maldives. He kept meticulous records of what he saw, what he heard and the people he met. 29 years later, he went back home and wrote about his experiences with the help of Ibn Juzay, a young scholar. He was little known when he died in 1368 as his rihlah was not respected as a scholarly piece of work. Continue reading “Battuta Was Here”